Thursday, April 18, 2024

Broadway, TV: “Rent” the Groundbreaking Musical Coming to Fox As a Live Presentation


Of all things, “Rent” is coming to Fox TV as a live broadcast.

The hit Jonathan Larson musical, with a cult following, wouldn’t seem like the sort of show you’d see on conservative old Fox. But Marc Platt, producer of “La La Land” and “Dear Evans Hansen,” is shepherding the project to Fox from Broadway.

Who knows? Maybe Platt’s son, Ben,” who’s right now the star of “Dear Evan Hansen” on Broadway, will be cast in the TV special. The producer knows how to reach the star.

“Rent” is an odd choice for Fox. It’s a rock musical, for one thing. For another, it deals with young people confronting AIDS and HIV in mid 1990s New York.

The original production ran for 12 years on Broadway. It won 4 Tony Awards in 1996 and launched the careers of Daphne Rubin-Vega, Idina Menzel, Jesse L, Martin, Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, and won a Tony for Wilson Jermaine Heredia.

“Rent” is based loosely on the opera “La Boheme.” But it took on real life tragedy when Larson died at age 35, unexpectedly, on the eve of the show’s first preview. He was misdiagnosed at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, which has since been razed and turned into ultra luxury housing.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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